August 10, 2006

Link-O-Rama

  • With the team firmly in the playoff mix and some amazing individual performances, the Twins are starting to get quite a bit of mainstream media attention outside of Minnesota:

    - Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times wrote an excellent feature on Francisco Liriano's journey from the Dominican Republic to the majors.

    - Hall of Fame announcer Ernie Harwell wrote a nice little puff piece on Joe Mauer in the Detroit Free Press.

    - Larry Millson of the Toronto Globe & Mail penned a column on Canadian-born Justin Morneau.

    - And, sadly, Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe used Liriano to discuss protecting young arms from injuries.

  • The latest news on Liriano's injury is ... well, not horrible at least. Still, I'd be surprised to see him pitch again this season.
  • Friend of AG.com Steve Silver called Claire Hoffman's Los Angeles Times piece on Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis "the greatest piece of newspaper writing thus far in 2006." Having devoured the entire 6,000-word article in one sitting, I can't say that I disagree. The piece includes any number of amazing parts, including Hoffman writing: "I wriggle free and punch him in the face."

    Here's my favorite excerpt:

    I follow Francis and his bodyguard through the crowd to find Kaitlyn Bultema. She's dancing on a podium and leaps off at the sight of Francis. She's wearing a skirt-and-shirt ensemble that exposes her stomach, most of her breasts and much of her bottom. I ask her why she wants to appear on "Girls Gone Wild" and she looks me in the eye and says, "I want everybody to see me because I'm hot."

    [...]

    "Most guys want to have sex with me and maybe I could meet one new guy, but if I get filmed everyone could see me," Bultema says. "If you do this, you might get noticed by somebody--to be an actress or a model."

    I ask her why she wants to get noticed. "You want people to say, 'Hey, I saw you.' Everybody wants to be famous in some way. Getting famous will get me anything I want. If I walk into somebody's house and said, 'Give me this,' I could have it."

    Normally I'd mock such an explanation, but that's exactly the sort of logic that has led to Paris Hilton becoming one of the most famous people in the country based on what is essentially zero talent or accomplishments (unless you count the skills displayed in her video). Go read the whole piece.

  • Speaking of Hilton's video, it's been a while since I've looked forward to seeing a movie this much.
  • I realize I'm more than a little late to this party, but I watched a Nip/Tuck marathon on FX the other night and immediately became hooked. I had tried to watch an odd episode here or there in the past, but never made it beyond the first commercial break. However, something about seeing a half-dozen shows in a row made me a big enough fan to catch up on plot lines and characters on the excellent Nip/Tuck Wikipedia page.

    I'm not sure what it says about me as a person, but aside from baseball and poker the only TV shows I watch regularly are on either HBO (The Sopranos, The Wire, Lucky Louie, Big Love, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm) or FX (Rescue Me, The Shield, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia). I occasionally get hooked for a brief moment on stuff like The OC or Grey's Anatomy, but quickly cut bait when things inevitably get too cheesy.

  • Speaking of my TV-viewing habits, I dropped $24.95 on last night's live, pay-per-view coverage of the World Series of Poker Main Event. Seriously. The show started at 4:00 PM, it's around midnight as I type this, and I've been watching straight through aside from a few channel flips to check out of the Twins-Blue Jays score. It's conceivable that by the time you read this, I will have been watching live poker for well over a dozen straight hours.

    What's particularly insane about the whole thing is that the live coverage means they aren't able to use hole-card cameras, so I can't even see what cards the players are holding. Still, it's been surprisingly compelling, in large part due to good commentary from Phil Gordon and visits by various big-name pros. The real beauty of it is that by discussing the show just now, I can officially write the expense off on my taxes.

  • As if being able to write off spending $25 on pay-per-view poker wasn't enough to convince me that I'm in the right line of work, consider that I get paid to write things like this as the lead to a column (supposedly) about fantasy football:
    It's funny how some "battles" don't end up following anything close to the script most people expected. For instance, once upon a time there was much debate over whether Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears was better to look at. I also assume there was some debate somewhere over which one was better to listen to, but I've been unable to uncover any evidence of that being the case.

    At some point I began discussing the Broncos' running-back situation, although you may have to trust me on that given the distracting links I offered up before getting to that point. My favorite e-mail of the week stated, simply: "More Christina Aguilera, less Ron Dayne."

  • While David Ortiz is having another monster season in Boston, not everyone has become a star since leaving Minnesota. J.C. Romero had already been banished to the back of the Angels' bullpen before giving up six runs in one-third of an inning last night, and he's now sporting a hideous 7.54 ERA in 37 innings. From today's Los Angeles Times:
    Though [Romero's] hold on a roster spot seemed tenuous Thursday--and it's possible he could be designated for assignment if the Angels need another starter Tuesday-- [manager Mike] Scioscia continued to back the maligned left-hander.

    "He's had a real good run against left-handers but has struggled against right-handers," Scioscia said. "Command has been his Achilles' heel. As he smoothes out his delivery and gets under control, you can see the stuff is there. He still has a power arm. But he has to get more consistent with his stuff."

    I'm shocked--SHOCKED!--that Romero would have command issues. Alexi Casilla, the 22-year-old middle-infield prospect the Twins received for Romero, is hitting .321 with 45 steals between Single-A and Double-A.

  • Remember Corky Miller, the third catcher Ron Gardenhire insisted on bringing north last spring? He's back in the majors with Ortiz's Red Sox and went 0-for-4 in his first (and perhaps only) start. That's not particularly noteworthy on its own, but the four hitless at-bats mean Miller is now 1-for-55 dating back to 2004. If he ever stepped to the plate against Romero, I believe the world would end.

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